Online Master’s Programs in Political Science

October 7, 2021

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Pursue an Online Master's in Political Science

Political science master's programs cultivate advanced skills and knowledge in social science research and analysis. These programs develop essential tools for engaging society and addressing some of its most pressing issues. Graduates enjoy distinct benefits including positive job growth, increased earning potential, and broad career prospects.

This guide covers important information about master's in political science programs, including common curricula, financial aid opportunities, and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

What Can I Learn in an Online Master's in Political Science Program?

During a master's in political science program, learners develop skills in critical thinking, analytical problem-solving, and written and oral communication. Students also gain advanced research skills, learning to gather, classify, and synthesize complex information and translate that information for the general public.

Learners examine the history and development of political institutions. They assess the behavior of these institutions, beginning with their inception in antiquity up through their modern formulations and contemporary applications. Learners also study domestic and international economic policies and their interaction with nation states and various systems of government. Additional topics include public policy, international affairs, justice and equity, trade and commerce, and legal philosophy.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

What Courses Are Offered in a Master's in Political Science Program?

The following list contains common courses in master's in political science programs. However, specific course offerings vary by program, so prospective learners should consult potential schools and departments for further details.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Most learners pursuing a master's in political science online must pass qualifying examinations. These exams vary by program, so prospective degree-seekers should consult potential schools for further details. Generally, these exams assess acquired skills and knowledge and determine a candidate's readiness for employment or further study. Most exams involve a combination of written and oral components.

Some programs may also require a written thesis, in addition to qualifying examinations. A thesis typically includes original research and contributions to the field. Once complete, degree-seekers must defend their thesis before a committee of faculty experts.

What Specializations Are Available in a Master's in Political Science Program?

Some master's in political science programs offer specializations. These subfields encourage the development of specialized knowledge and skills. In many cases, specializations lead to better career prospects.

How Much Can I Make With a Career in Political Science?

Earning a master's in political science online does not automatically guarantee a career or certain wage; however, many graduates with this degree land lucrative positions, including those listed below.

Political Scientist

Political scientists examine the origin, evolution, and operation of various political systems. They often study political ideas, analyze policy and governments, and forecast potential trends in the field. These professionals use quantitative research methods and typically work for governing bodies, policy organizations, and broadcasting outlets.

Median Annual Salary: $117,570

Job Growth 2018-2028: 5%

Postsecondary Political Science Teacher

Postsecondary teachers provide education to students in colleges and universities. They conduct academic research in political science and teach courses in politics, government, and international affairs. Most jobs in this area require a doctorate, although individuals with only a master's may qualify for some positions.

Median Annual Salary: $83,370

Job Growth 2018-2028: 7-10%

Economist

Economists work at the intersection of political science and economics. They examine the production and distribution of goods and collect data related to these efforts. They also analyze and evaluate current trends in international trade and other economic

Median Annual Salary: $104,340

Job Growth 2018-2028: 8%

Online Master's in Political Science Program Accreditation

Currently, no programmatic accrediting body exists for political science departments. Therefore, prospective learners should ensure that potential schools hold regional or national accreditation from independent bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high academic standards and expands employment, education, and financial aid opportunities for students.

How to Pay for a Master's in Political Science Degree

Students can take advantage of several financial aid opportunities to help defray the cost of their education, such as departmental aid, federal grants, and research fellowships.

Scholarships for Master's in Political Science Students

Boren Fellowships

Who Can Apply: U.S. graduate learners studying fields of critical importance to U.S. national interests may apply for this award. Applicants must submit reference letters and essays for committee review.

Amount: Varies

APPLY FOR FELLOWSHIP

Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program

Who Can Apply: Eligible applicants must plan to study a field pertinent to international relations and global affairs. They must also maintain a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA.

Amount: Up to $37,500 a year for two years

APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must possess 3-5 years of relevant professional experience. They must also plan to work in a public policy-related field upon graduation. Candidates must complete an online application and provide references.

Amount: Varies

APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: This award supports degree-seekers and working professionals committed to advancing social change. Applicants must provide a personal statement and reference letters.

Amount: $15,000

APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

Who Can Apply: Competitive awards offered by this foundation support learners interested in politics, economics, and governance. Applicants must be nominated and complete a questionnaire and an online application.

Amount: Varies

APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP

Professional Organizations and Resources

Master's in political science students and graduates can take advantage of professional resources and organizations. Many professional organizations offer benefits like professional development, financial aid, and networking opportunities.

Related articles that may interest you

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.